This post is by Manasa Agaram, Product Marketing Manager, Amdocs
Myths give us a nice story, but when it comes to VoLTE, here are five you can disregard.
There is no shortage of industry discussion around voice over LTE (VoLTE). Some service providers, such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless, have announced launch plans while more are planning trials and proof of concepts this year, as evidenced by our conversations with customers.
Service providers are looking towards VoLTE to provide an innovative and differentiated HD voice experience that will enable them to compete and partner with over-the-top (OTT) alternatives. At Amdocs, we’ve been working with a number of service providers around VoLTE and it’s clear to us that VoLTE is not well understood, in particular when it comes to a fundamental capability such as policy and charging control (PCC).
We’ve uncovered five common myths that service providers need to be mindful of when evaluating their PCC needs for VoLTE. As in any myth, there is often some truth behind it but most often, it’s not the full picture!
Myth #1 – VoLTE is just another use case.
Not exactly. There is tremendous complexity in the set up and tear-down of a VoLTE call, with the right quality of service (QoS) assigned in real time. You will likely have numerous VoLTE-enabled devices on your network. What about the ability to negotiate QoS on a per device basis, based on the device codec’s capability? When it comes to VoLTE trials, there are at least 20 use cases that will need to be tested.Myth #2 – VoLTE is just another IP flow.
Not quite. VoLTE is a voice service that happens to ride on the IP network. Your customers won’t really care that it’s IP. Their expectations for reliability and quality have already been set in the legacy PSTN world. VoLTE needs to provide the same experience or better. If a data session drops today, it’s inconvenient but not completely catastrophic. If a VoLTE call drops when your customer is talking to friends, family or perhaps their business customers, this is not so easily forgotten. Does your policy and charging vendor have geo-redundancy to ensure the highest level of reliability when it comes to the VoLTE experience? Have you thought about the 10-12X signaling overhead of VoLTE vs. data and how that affects performance? VoLTE is not just another IP flow.
Myth #3 – I already have a PCRF and my vendor says that it supports Rx. That should be good enough for VoLTE, right?
Not entirely accurate. What interoperability has been conducted with the various IMS voice and companion applications? Have you thought about emergency services – what happens when a user places an emergency call? Is there immediate call prioritization, diversion of network resources to support this call, can the subscriber location be provided in real time? VoLTE support is definitely more than just an Rx interface on your legacy PCRF.
Myth #4 – VoLTE does not introduce new monetization opportunities.
Not true! VoLTE introduces new ways of bundling existing services to create new mashed service plans. Operators are just beginning to explore the new opportunities which lie within Rich Communication Services (RCS), like presence, premium video, messaging and more.
VoLTE will also enable to boost data consumption from subscribers, helping service providers gain back on their LTE infrastructure investments.
Myth #5 – VoLTE has no leverage against leading OTT services.
No way. VoLTE introduces some exciting benefits over OTTs, such as: HD voice quality, direct VoLTE video and voice calls from the phone’s dialer, ultra-quick call setup times, global interoperability and cross-device support – creating strong traction for switching back to carrier-based services and giving OTTs a fight for their money.
For example, in the Asia-Pacific region there are proven case studies in which millions of customers adopted VoLTE services, and favoring them over time, abandoning OTT services.
As with any new technology, everything is a learning curve, with numerous challenges and myths to overcome and explore along the way. VoLTE is no exception.
Join Amdocs at Stand 8 during the LTE Voice Summit to find out more about what’s true with PCC and VoLTE. Amdocs – ready when you are!